This was easily one of my favourite soups whenever I was out in a restaurant. I highly recommend making your own which I do now on a regular basis. A lot of people are put off as they may not have heard of some of the ingredients and it seems a lot of hassle. I have found that large supermarkets tend to stock these kinds of ingredients now and anything I haven’t been able to find can be easily found on Amazon. This homemade soup tastes amazing and far better than anything ready-made in the shop. It is well worth the little extra effort to make your own dashi stock too.
In Japan people love miso soup so much that they even eat it for breakfast. You can buy ready mixed sachets of Miso paste – just add hot water and tofu for a very quick version of this soup. Instant dashi (just add boiling water) is also available in neat little sachets, so it’s easy to keep some in the cupboard.
Serves 4 as a small bowl
800ml instant dashi, homemade dashi stock (recipe below) or water
3 tbsp white miso paste (miso is a paste made from fermented soya beans, and is rich in probiotic bacteria, which means it’s good for intestinal health.
100g firm tofu, cut into cubes
Large pinch of dried wakame, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, then drained
2 spring onions, sliced
- Bring the stock to a simmer. Put the miso in a cup or small bowl and mix in a tablespoon of the hot stock to soften it slightly and make a smooth liquid paste. Stir the paste into the stock until dissolved.
- Put the tofu and wakame in the bottom of 4 serving bowls and pour over the hot soup. Sprinkle with the spring onions to serve.
Homemade dashi stock
Dashi, a simple stock, is a very important ingredient in Japanese cooking because it forms the flavour base for most soups. Unlike French stocks, which take hours to make, dashi is quick and easy to put together because you need only two ingredients plus water. Kombu and bonito flakes are readily available from japanese suppliers, some large supermarkets or Amazon. Stored in an airtight container, the dashi will keep for up to three days in the fridge, or it can be frozen.
Serves 2 (Makes about 800ml)
2 large pieces of kombu
1 litre water
30g bonito flakes
- Wipe the kombu with a damp cloth, then place in a pan with the water and leave to soften for about 30 minutes.
- When the kombu is soft, place the pan over the heat and bring almost to the boil. Take off the heat and discard the kombu.
- Add the bonito flakes to the hot water and leave to steep (off the heat) for 10 minutes.
- Strain the liquid into a clean container, discarding the bonito flakes.
- Use the stock immediately, or store as recommended above until needed.